La Liga: Barcelona sink Villarreal thanks to late goals, end winless away run
- Barcelona registered a gritty 3-1 victory over Villarreal on Saturday
- Barcelona went winless in its first five league matches away from Camp Nou
- The long-awaited away victory came in Xavi Hernández's third match
After Barcelona went winless in its first five league matches away from Camp Nou, only three other clubs in the 20-team tournament had won fewer points on the road this season.
The long-awaited victory came in Xavi Hernández's third match as manager after taking over from Ronald Koeman.
Minutes after halftime, Frenkie de Jong scored for the visitors, finishing off Depay shot saved by goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli.
However, a goal from substitute Samuel Chukwueze in the 76th minute equalised matters for Villarreal, who pressed for a winner before Depay struck against the flow of play in the 88th minute.
Depay earned a long goal kick from Marc-Andre ter Stegen, dribbled past Rulli, and coolly placed the ball between the legs of Pervis Estupinan.
In stoppage time, Coutinho clinched the three points by converting a penalty he won while dribbling into the box.
Barcelona remained in the seventh position but cut the deficit to Real Madrid to seven points. On Sunday, Madrid will have a stiff test when they visit Sevilla, who are currently in the third position.
Real Sociedad, in the second position, will travel to Espanyol, while Atlético Madrid, in fourth place, will travel to Cádiz.
After the loss, Villarreal, managed by Unai Emery, stayed in 12th place.
In other results, Rayo Vallecano continued to impress following a 1-1 draw with Valencia. The promoted team concluded the match by pressing Valencia into its box. Rayo, which has the best home record in the league, moved up to the fifth position after picking up a point on the road.
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Celta Vigo defeated Alavés 2-1 with to goals from Iago Aspas and Santi Mina in a match played using an alternate yellow ball owing to snowfall and winter weather.
On the Balearic Islands, Mallorca and Getafe also drew 0-0.
With inputs from the Associated Press